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Gone in a flash

Police still looking into death of up-and-coming local rapper


Iliff Omar Burleson, aka Dat Boy O, was shot to death last - Friday night.
  • Iliff Omar Burleson, aka Dat Boy O, was shot to death last Friday night.

In stark contrast to the methodical way he was building his music career, a gunshot wound to the chest quickly killed Iliff Omar Burleson last week.

The 30-year-old, who also went by his rap name, Dat Boy O (and, often, just as DBO), died in a motel on Friday evening, just after 6.

His girlfriend reportedly was camped alongside Burleson in Room 119 of the Chief Motel, at 1624 S. Nevada Ave., when the assailant or assailants entered. By the time the police arrived, whoever was responsible for DBO's death had fled the scene and was able to remain hidden from the view of the police choppers hovering above.

"We're still looking at evidence and talking to a lot of people," Lt. Mark Smith of the Colorado Springs Police Department said Monday. On Wednesday morning, the CSPD arrested 29-year-old Mark Anthony Rivera for accessory to first-degree murder. More arrests are pending, according to police.

Burleson, originally from Texas, was beginning to gain notoriety in the underground hip-hop scene in Colorado Springs as Dat Boy O. His latest release, Hustlaholics Part Two, just hit store shelves in November, as did Hip Hop Holiday, a compilation CD from KIBT-FM 96.1 The Beat, to which he contributed.

Earlier on Friday evening, shortly before his death, DBO had received an invitation to appear alongside his producer Erik Shable on a Monday night promotional appearance with DJ Madboy of 96.1 The Beat. Shable, too, had received a phone call from the station and expected to discuss the appearance with his rapper that evening at his Get Heard Studios, where the two had planned to meet and further work on DBO's next album.

"I'm going to do whatever it takes to put [the album] out," Shable said, while representing his friend at Monday night's jarringly somber promo event. "I'll probably set something up to contribute to his son. I want him to know who his dad was."

Burleson's 4-year-old son lives in Texas, and Shable expressed concern for the child's well-being especially considering that the murder happened so close to the holidays. But Shable assured the gathered crowd that the police have some solid leads. He denied claims that the crime was drug-related.

"People will pull the trigger on anybody just to prove they're hard," Shable said. "But this is fucking Colorado Springs. This just doesn't happen too much in Colorado Springs."

Ashley Boudreaux

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